A Paradox in English Syntax
|1.||Sainsbury (1988: 1)|
Early sections of this study argue that common, perhaps even standard assumptions about English grammar yield a paradox in this sense when combined with certain observations about a puzzling class of sentences. It is ultimately claimed that one can resolve the paradox by adopting a particular set of grammatical assumptions; a partial development of these makes up section 9.
A characteristic feature of one rather formal style of English is the existence of structures I refer to with considerable theoretical prejudice as null expletive subject (NEX) clauses. They are illustrated by the sentences in (2):